Main content area

Analysis of active rotenone concentration during treatment of the Rondegat River, Cape Floristic Region, South Africa

Slabbert, E, Jordaan, MS, Weyl, OLF
African journal of aquatic science 2014 v.39 no.4 pp. 467-472
Micropterus dolomieu, freshwater fish, indigenous species, invasive species, monitoring, neutralization, rivers, rotenone, South Africa
Most endemic freshwater fish species of the Cape Floristic Region are listed as threatened, due mainly to the impacts of invasive alien fish species. The piscicide rotenone has been identified as a potential tool to aid the conservation of indigenous species through the removal of invasive fish. Rotenone was used in the Rondegat River, Cederberg, where smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu had extirpated the indigenous fish. An initial rotenone treatment in March 2012 was followed by another in March 2013. Due to concerns following the first treatment about possible build-up of rotenone between treatment stations, the second treatment included monitoring of rotenone concentrations during the treatment. Measured concentrations were consistently below the selected treatment concentration of 37.5 µg l ⁻¹ and dropped to below the tested effective piscicidal concentration of 12.5 µg l ⁻¹ at some sampling points. There was no build-up of rotenone within the treatment zones, but rotenone took longer than expected to clear out of the treatment area. The rotenone was effectively neutralised when the neutralisation station was operational, but was still detectable after neutralisation was terminated.